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40th Birthday Wishes, Messages, and Poems to Write in a Card

Blake started out scribbling in cards over 30 years ago. Though his handwriting is mostly unchanged, the content has improved.

40 is a major milestone—find the right words to wish them well on the big day.

40 is a major milestone—find the right words to wish them well on the big day.

What to Write in a 40th Birthday Card

When you know someone turning 40, you may want to write something extra special in their birthday card. This is an important milestone, but that importance adds to the difficulty of deciding what to write. Turning 40 can be a tough time for people, so including a little humor may be your best option. Poems are also a fun way to express what you want to say. Ask yourself what type of message you want to use to wish them a special day.

Below, you'll find various ideas. Read over these examples to get ideas and inspiration, then combine or adapt them to make them more personal.

Funny 40th Birthday Wishes

Use these funny messages when you want to see eyes roll and hear a chuckle:

  • 40 is not over the hill. It’s not even the top of the hill. It’s actually all uphill from here. If you don’t believe me, try running up an actual hill.
  • The problem with your age is getting the last candle lit before the first drips wax all over the cake.
  • It has taken 40 years for you to mature to the point you are now. You have been aged to perfection.
  • Give yourself a pat on the back: you're halfway to 80!
  • Hopefully you can think of 40 reasons to be grateful on your birthday this year.
  • Congratulations on turning 20 with an extra 20 years of experience. Just don't expect to be paid for the experience.
  • I hope you have a wonderful 39th birthday again. I hope it is as good as it was last year.
  • I hope you get some sunglasses for your birthday. You’ll need them when you get your face that close to so many candles.
  • I’m wishing you a warm and bright 40th birthday. I don’t think it could be any other way with that many candles on your cake.
  • At 40 you'll finally be taken seriously by your coworkers, who never got your jokes anyway.
  • It’s a cruel irony that when you get to be two times the age of a 20-year-old, you only have half the metabolism.
  • You have a decade left until you are half a century old. Here are some other ways to count your age: 480 months, 3,087 weeks, 14,610 days, or 350,650 hours. What are you planning on doing with the next 350,650 hours of your life?
  • I’m wishing that all of your dreams you were hoping for before you turned 40 will come true before you turn 50. “Better late than never,” right?
  • Be an optimist when people tell you that you’re “middle-aged.” At least you are not “end-aged.”
  • Happy 39 and 2 halves!
  • Let me let you in on a little secret most people don't know. 40 isn't the year you'll start to feel old. You'll start feeling old on your 41st birthday. Enjoy your last year of youth.
  • I can't stand ridiculous old jokes on my milestone birthdays. Fortunately, this is your birthday, not mine.
  • When you turn 40, it's especially important to be grateful for all of your really good friends like me who won't tell people your real age.

Inspirational and Sincere Messages

Turning 40 is an opportunity to reflect. On milestone birthdays, people tend to take a long, hard look at their lives so far and look to the future. Use one of these sincere messages to inspire greatness in middle age:

  • 40 is a great age to do something meaningful with your life. Happy birthday!
  • Don't let your 40s be wasted the same way you wasted your 30s. Just kidding! Have another great decade of birthdays.
  • You're making a lot of people jealous today. Think of all the people who are in their 50s or older when you count your blessings.
  • I'll be praying that God continues to guide and shape your life to more that you could imagine on your own. He will bless you in your 40s and beyond.
  • Don't be depressed on your 40th birthday. Just think of all the living you have left to do.

40th Birthday Poems

Funny Poem

Now that you've turned 40
You're old enough to know
There are some things now
That will happen sorta slow

Losing weight will be hard
And your hair may be thin
But nothing has to keep you
From having a great big grin

Inspirational Poem

40 is your perfect age to
Do anything you want to do
Creativity and common sense
Have been refined in you

You're mature in your wisdom
Your spirit is aged and bold
Humor is your shield of fire
And your heart is solid gold